AN EASTER SERVICE in QUARANTINE
COVID 19 has impacted the 2020 Easter celebration. This year our Easter celebrations will be very different! Most of us will not gather together for a community Easter egg hunt, a sunrise service, the traditional Easter worship celebration, or a family dinner. It will be just us—our immediate family. But it will still be Easter—the date that has been set aside to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, as families and small groups of believers, let’s celebrate. Below is a suggested worship service just for your family or small group. Add your own unique ideas to tailor it to your family’s or small group members’ ages, interests, and gifts.
Because the Tomb is empty, I …
On Easter morning don’t greet one another with a “Good morning!” or “Did you sleep well?” Greet one another with the Easter Acclamation, “Christ is risen!” Encourage the family member to respond with, “He is risen indeed!”
EASTER READING of God’s Word
If possible, provide each family member who can read with a copy. Assign family members to lead sections of the responsive reading; remind others of their responses.
Singing Songs of Praise
We’ve provided a playlist of songs related to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sing along with your family. Give Him praise!
God’s word to us this easter
For the first time in our lifetime, church pews are empty for longer than the occasional snow-covered day. Is God giving His children a break from the weekly ritual? In fact, it’s just the opposite. During this Easter season and in the midst of our current COVID 19 crisis, He is sending us out from the comfort of our church buildings and into the world to serve. We have been deployed!
Our Response – Communion
God has deployed us to fulfill His mission here on earth. The COVID 19 pandemic is an opportunity for us to serve others and to declare God’s kingdom. Communion is an opportunity for us to prepare our hearts for this deployment.
A QUARANTINED EASTER
Ideas to Encourage Remembrance and Celebration with Family
Remember His Death and Resurrection with Your Family
- On Friday evening prepare and eat the Passover meal with your family. For information on serving a Seder meal go to https://cogop.org/children/passover-seder-meal/
- On Saturday work together as a family to create poster-board signs with celebration phrases printed on each such as, “Allelulia!”, “Rejoice!”, “He is Risen!”, “Jesus is Alive!” Tape the posters to paint stirrers or similar pieces of wood and place on your lawn or on your front door as reminders to passers by that Jesus has risen.
- Begin Easter Sunday morning with a family sunrise moment. Fifteen minutes before sunrise wake sleepy family members. Invite them to join you outside or at a window facing the east as you watch the sunrise together. Give each family member a candle to light. Briefly discuss how just as there is darkness before the sun rises there was darkness before Christ was born—people were separated from God’s light. Then Christ was born (Matthew 4:16, John 1:1–5). He was light. And since Jesus has gone back to heaven, He has called us to be light (Matthew 5:14–16). As soon as the sun rises, extinguish the candles. Take a moment to say “thank you” to God for the light of His Son, Jesus.
- Have a family Easter service. We’ve created a brief family Easter service for you, “Deployed.” Make it your own by adding your own songs, prayer thoughts, discussion questions, and other activities.
Connect with Your Church Community:
- Go Easter caroling. Consider the shut-ins and elderly in your congregation. Call and let them know that on Easter (provide an approximate time) your family or small group will be stopping by to sing a song of praise. (Remind them to stay in the house or right outside the door and the carolers will stay near their cars in order to follow COVID 19 safety guidelines.)
- Ask members of your congregation to respond to the phrase “Because the tomb is empty, I…”Ask them to video their response on their phone or computer and send it to you. Create a video montage that can be e-mailed or used during your live stream Easter worship service.
- Provide Easter teaching materials for parents of preschool and school-aged children. “The Sunday Morning Miracle” resources including free downloads are available through CTA Christ for All. Go to https://www.ctainc.com/product/resource-pack-smmxxrepk
- Here’s a prayer idea that you can use to connect with and serve your community. Pastor Tyrone Hall of the Lighthouse Church of God of Prophecy in Olean, New York has provided a “drive through prayer line” in the parking lot of his church. Pastor Hall meets each car protected with a mask and gloves and then prays with them concerning their requests.
Declare “He Is Risen” in Your Community:
- Organize an Easter shout-out in your neighborhood. E-mail neighbors or place notes in mailboxes specifying a specific time on Easter when every neighbor can respond joyfully to Jesus’ resurrection. Ask everyone to respond in the same way so that the impact is heard. Some examples include shouting “Hallelujah” from your lawn, ringing a bell, or honking your horn.
- Host an “Egg Hunt On-the-Go.” Create an “Egg Hunt On the Go” kit for families in your neighborhood including pre-filled eggs and an egg-dyeing kit. Include an Easter devotional for families with all the props needed. (Note: Be sure to follow the COVID 19 health and safety precautions when creating and distributing the kits.)
- Deliver Easter baskets filled with appropriate items to nursing homes, first responders, or local shelters for abused women and children. Include a Gospel message in each basket. (Note: Be sure to follow the COVID 19 health and safety precautions when creating and distributing the baskets.)